Happy childhood in spirit of hate
Tomorrow the hatred will concern you

Literature (prose and poetry)

Enmity in Azerbaijani way
By Shabnam Kheyrulla

Recently, I happened to witness my neighboring children playing catchup outside. I got carried away by the children's game so much that I decided to watch them for a while. A girl aged 5-6, her brother, one year younger, and other children of nearly the same age were deciding noisily and joyfully who was to run and who was to catch up. After long arguments, they at last decided to distribute the roles through a counting-out rhyme. I had decided to leave, but a counting-out rhyme voiced by a little girl attracted my attention with its uniqueness and singularity. This was why I decided to tell you this story.

«Vay-vay soyuqdur,
Ermənilər toyuqdur.
Harada gördün erməni,
Vur başına gülləni.»
Word-for-word translation
Vay vay, it is cold,
The Armenians are hens,
Wherever you meet an Armenian,
Put a bullet through his head.

These words made me smile involuntarily. At the same time, I thought whether indeed our children at that age already understand what the Armenians are, what an enemy is, and hate them. However gratifying that thought seemed, I found it hard to believe it.

We know that the phrase "the Turk is your enemy"1is whispered to an Armenian child from the moment of his birth. The Armenian "dyghas"»2 from an early age know by heart their forged history, their invented heroes and false legends. Shedding Turk's blood is considered to be a sacred act for Armenian children.

Although we know all this, we continue to conceal the truth from our children. We believe that if children learn the whole truth about the Armenians at an early age, they will grow up cowards, envenomed and mentally traumatized. Our people try to protect their children at every turn, even at the price of concealing the truth. We need not go far for examples. I will give my own example. Until a certain age, I was not allowed to watch Chingiz Mustafayev's reportage on Khojaly3 at home. The explanation was that I could feel bad and my heart could ache. To tell the truth, I don't know whether or not my parents were right not to allow me watch such shots. I think it would be better if the children's hearts ache from the painful and terrible truth now than if they live in the dark and in sweet lie and encounter headache later, at a mature age. I am for telling our children the whole truth about our enemies, and it is up to them to decide whom to hate and whom to love.

My neighboring children, whom I watched playing, were non-standard Azerbaijani children for me in that sense. I came back to the children's words over and over again and asked myself whether these children know the real essence of the Armenians, in whose brain they want to put a bullet, whether they know what the Armenians did to us. Or, did they simply hear the counting-out rhyme from their parents and used it without trying to understanding its essence and meaning?

Thinking about this, I came up to the children to talk to them, but a woman aged 60 or more came out to the street at that moment and the children all together shouted, "Hello madam Anya" and ran up to her. The neighboring woman gave them a friendly smile in response, asked the children how they were doing and tousled their hair.

Only after it, the children came back to the game and it turned out that they forgot the result of the counting-out rhyme and who was to catch up. They had to repeat the counting-out rhyme, a little boy read the rhyme this time:

…Wherever you meet an Armenian,
Put a bullet through his head…

The children could never know that their beloved "madam Anya," to whom they just ran up in a crowd, is an Armenian and she is simply one of thousands of Armenians residing in Baku.

What I saw made me forget what I wanted to ask the children. To be more exact, I did not forget, but understood that my question had no sense anymore. I got convinced once again that we would never change. Our ability to be at war, will, unfortunately, remain at the level of words and counting-out rhymes in a game. Is it bad or good?

To be honest, I don't know, answer this question yourselves.



1 Myth widely spread in Azerbaijan that has nothing to do with reality.
2 From the Armenian word "tgha." Here, it is a pejorative term meaning "teenage Armenian."
3 Events of Karabakh war period (1991-1994), when residents of the village of Khojaly tragically died on the approaches to the town of Aghdam. The Azerbaijani authorities abandoned them in the epicenter of military operations, refusing to evacuate them, and now have launched a propaganda hysteria. See the film "Between Hunger and Fire. Power at the Expense of Lives".



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